newspaper trips at its debut
belongs to Communist Party claims plaintiff
Susitha R. Fernando
Colombo Commercial High Court judge yesterday issued an order preventing
the printing and publishing of a new newspaper Mawbima.
The court made this order when a Communist Party member claimed
that it was the title of the partys official newspaper published
under his name.
plaintiff Weliwita Arachchige Dharmadasa of No 91, Dr. N. M. Perera
Mawatha, Colombo 8, citing Basnayake Mudiyanselage Dushyantha Bandara
of Rosemead Place, Colombo 7 as defendant, claimed that using the
title Mawbima, the partys official newspaper since
September 1950, was a violation of the plaintiffs and the
Communist Partys intellectual property.
Mahinda Ralapanawa, appearing for the plaintiff, W. A. Dharmadasa
stated that the newspaper was not published at times due to financial
difficulties and there were periods where it was published daily.
However the publication was restarted from June 1, 2006 and issues
for June and July were released.
stated to court that he came to know that the defendant was about
to start a newspaper from July 2006 using the title Mawbima
with Nimal Kuruwita Bandara and Dayaratne Lankapura as its editors.
This was publicised in newspapers and posters.
to its usage for over 40 years, the Communist Party has a right
to claim the name as its intellectual property and the defendant
using the trade name caused irreparable loss and damage.
plaintiff asked for a declaration that it was only the plaintiff
and the Communist Party that had the right to publish a newspaper
under the title Mawbima and asked for an order preventing
the defendant from printing, publishing and distributing a newspaper
with the said title.
objection to the application, counsel Romesh de Silva PC informed
court that there was no prima-facie case against the defendant and
the plaintiff has no right to claim the title of the newspaper.
stated that the plaintiff had not registered the name Mawbima
before the Registrar of Trade Marks. Since April 1996, the paper
was not published. He further submitted that the defendant, on March
2006, made an application to the Director General of Intellectual
Property for the trade name while the General Secretary of the Communist
Party, D. E. W. Gunasekara made an application only on June 2006.
The counsel objected order being issued to prevent the newspaper
Court Judge K.T. Chitrasiri issued the enjoining order and ordered
to file objection on July 20.
Ralapanawa with N.M.A. Razwi appeared for the plaintiff. Romesh
de Silva PC with Sugath Caldera instructed by G.G. Arulpragasam
appeared for the defendant.